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Zephyrs set to take on Emmaus

Only three games into his Whitehall football tenure, Andy Marino already has made a major impact.

His Zephyrs opened the season and christened him with an impressive 53-0 dismantling of Allen and followed that with a hard-fought 34-21 defeat to Bethlehem Catholic.

Next came a showdown with former coach Matt Senneca and Easton, and there would be plenty of player emotions flowing in the game.

In a game that was believed to be a tight one, the Zephyrs flexed their muscles and sent a message to the rest of the East Penn Conference (EPC) with a 27-0 whitewashing of the Red Rovers.

Suddenly, Whitehall is 2-1 and finds itself back in the hunt to defend their district crown.

“It was a great team win,” stressed Marino. “We played all three phases of the game well, and our inexperienced players are getting better every week.

“We had a tough game last week; we didn’t play well,” Marino said. “We wanted to play well this week. So, we were just worried about that. I’m sure some of them (the players) had emotions, but we didn’t talk about it. I didn’t see it. We just let our play talk.”

Running back Dalton Wickel, who ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns – one a 48-yarder- has high hopes for the Zephyrs’ season.

“I feel very confident with our team,” he said. “If we can play with a high level of intensity – no penalties, no personal fouls, nothing like that. We can really take it to most of the other teams in the division.”

Quarterback Trey Dogmanits completed 11 of 14 passes for 189 yards with two touchdowns, also believes there is something special going on.

“I think that last week’s game was a huge win for us,” said Domantis. “Not only because it was against our old coach, but also because you don’t want to fall to 1-2. With a tough stretch ahead.

“I feel as if this game gave us confidence and showed what we are capable of when we come to play.”

The Zephyrs will have a major challenge ahead when they host Emmaus Friday night. The Green Hornets (1-2) are coming off a tough 27-24 defeat to Allentown Central Catholic and previously suffered a 42-7 loss to Nazareth.

Marino will continue to take a businesslike approach to the game.

“Emmaus is a well coached football team,” said Marino. “We look forward to the challenge.”

Added Dogmanits, “It’s going to be a tough game for sure. If we can minimize the errors and execute our game plan, we should be in good shape.”

PREDICTION (Overall record 2-1): Dogmanits is 26-for-49 for 446 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions ... Braden Bashore had four catches for 46 yards for a touchdown, and Talon Dogmanits had three catches for 94 yards with a touchdown. Bashore leads the team with 11 catches for 107 yards with three touchdowns ... Emmaus beat Whitehall in each of its last two meetings, winning 27-19 last year, and 26-7 in 2021. The Green Hornets have won the last five meetings, and Whitehall’s last win was 42-35 in 2017 ... Emmaus quarterback Josiah Williams rushed for 106 yards and threw for 312 against Central Catholic ... Whitehall overcame an emotional meeting with their ex-coach last week, and took a major step ... The Zephyrs will face a major test here and will need to hold Williams in check. They will need another big night from their offensive line to open holes for Wickel and protect Dogmanits, who also will need a big game ... Went against the Zephs last week, and their dominating win showed me something ... Emmaus desperately needs a win here, and this will be a barn-burner ... Something in the air on Mechanicsville Road, and Coach Marino, those SMP Mini-Mart cheesesteaks are still high on my list. Tough one as my hearts says Whitehall, but Zephyrs need some more seasoning and need to play a near perfect game ... EMMAUS, 28-27.